Pink-veined baby leaves are excellent in salad mix.
At full size, the bright pink stems and smooth leaves have a mild flavor. Magenta Sunset is prone to bolting if exposed to cool temperatures early in plant development. Sow one seed per module. If you are after small ‘cut and come again’ leaves for salads, you can sow direct in the soil by making a wide drill about 2.5cm deep and sprinkling seeds in it. Leave 30cm between drills. Chard can also be grown in containers. Sow seeds from March onwards. Do a late summer sowing for winter harvesting.
When you plant out the seedlings, allow 45cm between plants. If plants bolt in summer, simply cut them back and they will soon start to produce tasty leaves again. Weed regularly and water in dry weather. Cover in winter with cloches or fleece to keep the worst of the weather off them.
Pick often to encourage the plant to produce tender new leaves. For salad leaves, cut individual leaves as required when about 5cm long. On larger plants, start harvesting leaves from the outside and work your way in to the centre. Whenever harvesting leaves, always leave about 5cm of the stem so the plant can grow back. It will come again several times. Cook the stalks and leaves seperately – the stalks take slightly longer to cook.